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Sommelier Wessa talks trendy comeback of traditional liquor Updated: 2021-05-14 14:10:45 KST

Korean traditional liquor is making a comeback attracting the palates of the young and the hip.
Its diversified flavor, color and style have got these trendsetters now rushing to try it out and posting their experience on social media.
In fact, the market scale of traditional liquor grew from roughly 35 million US dollars in 2016 to 47 million in 2019, steadily increasing while sales of all other alcoholic drinks went down.
Trendy comeback of classic liquor: It's the topic of our news in-depth tonight, joining us in the studio is traditional Korean alcohol Sommelier, Dustin Wessa.
Pleasure to have you on our show.



You first came to Korea in 2005 at the age of 23 to study Korean history, but went through a rather drastic career change turning into a chef then to a Korean wine sommelier. Could you first tell us more about yourself, and what motivated you to become a Korean liquor sommelier?

The size of overall Korean liquor market shrunk for three years in a row from 2016 to 2018 but on the contrary, market continued to show robust growth on the back of increasing consumption by the young people. The millennials and gen-Zs are now flooding the social media posting their experiences of traditional liquor. What's attracting them?

You are widely recognized for your tasty experiments with Korean traditional liquor, brewing various combinations of ingredients like rice and nuruk, or Korean yeast. Can you show us some of your latest works?

One of the key ingredients of is nuruk, a unique Korean fermentation starter that adds different flavors to each liquor. What's so special about it, and are there any other ingredients of your preference that do the magic trick?

For about a decade, you have dedicated yourself to promote not only in Korea but also to the world. What are your next steps and what's your ultimate goal as a sommelier?

Korean liquor Sommelier, Dustin Wessa for our news in-depth tonight. Thank you for sharing your special stories with us.
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